Friday, August 31, 2007
I am forgetting about being a domestique for Alexey, and I figure that our little trio should try relay attacking those Canadians until they beg for mercy. I attack and just as they catch me Alexey attacks, and just as they catch him Joe attacks, and so on so forth. Our tactics will even more effective if there is only one other guy versing us.
It's very cool how many 13/14ers are on AAVC. Pieter, Jonathan, Joe, Alexey and I. It's a bummer though, Jonathan and Pieter have been strangely absent. And at the beginning of the year Jonathan was as strong or stronger than Alexey and I.
AAVC has taken on a boatload of 10-14ers after saying goodbye to a boatload of 18 year olds.
I don't think I'll need any aero equipment for the prologue considering that it's under a mile long. That will pretty much be a sprint and TT bars will mess up my sprint (I always bump my knees because my legs are so pizza darn long). Well I've got to mow the lawn, go to a homeschool picnic and scrimmage a U13 girls' soccer team. Great.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Fog clouded the race course. Nervous but ready, I awaited the start. I was competing in an early season bike race with a large group of riders. Tensely, I spun around the kilometer-long course, wondering how I would fair. The race included not only young riders like myself, but many adults. A bumpy course with two ninety degree turns and a hill.
Hours of training and preparation had taken place in the off-season and I felt ready to test my strength. Rolling up to the start line, I glanced at the sidewalk where many of my teammates and fellow cyclists sat in anticipation. I began to relax as my teammate and friend Alexey glided to a stop beside me. Neither of us had done anything like this before.
An informal shout of “go” from the official announced the start of the race. From the start the pace was fast but I stayed with the group by taking advantage of the draft that the other riders gave me. Through the turn and up onto the hill that brought you into the finishing straight I kept my position. One lap down, nine to go. On the back stretch everyone slowed to recover and then went hard up the hill. Accelerations came and went but the group stayed together and I still managed to keep with the pack. The field of nearly twenty riders had been whittled down to under fifteen.
With three laps to go I began to feel the effort that I was putting in. Adding to the inconvenience my right contact blew out of my eye. More accelerations picked the pace up even more. Gasping for breath, I drifted to back of the group and desperately struggled to keep up the fast pace. My legs screamed in livid agony. I couldn’t do it anymore. I hung my head and watched them speed away from me.
Then I saw everyone cheering me on and I was inspired. I put my head down and hammered my way back. Only one lap remaining. Coming into the final corner I clipped my pedal against the ground and bounced in the air wildly. I was very close to crashing and not finishing the race but I regained my balance and sprinted to the finish, right behind Alexey.
I was greeted with many congratulations. It was the first time that I had finished with people older than me. Not long ago had I been a small little kid that always ended up riding by himself in races because everyone else rode away from. I had finally developed. Exhilarated and happy, I was already looking forward to next year.
There's obviously a big difference between blogging and writing.
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Warmup with the Wieczoreks and Zack.
In one I took off with Zack and he pulled me for a long time until we were caught after almost four laps (it was a five lap race). Another race unfolded in similar style as eventually Tony and a UofM guy bridged up to Zack and I. We were eventually caught(again).
Crit Practice is a very fun event and will be missed sorely until it resumes in May.
Monday, August 27, 2007
Well I was excited about posting videos but I'm not anymore. It has to be under 100MB and all the races we do take up to about 500MB. I tried to post Rockford but it failed so I'm afraid this little gem will have to do.
Keep in mind, this was a while ago and I'm striving to keep putting the "Boy" in "Bike Boy".
Sunday, August 26, 2007
It was a small pack for the Juniors of 11 people. Brinkman, Veltkamp, Ludlow, Kroll, Brennan, Bromley, Barnes, Wieczorek, Anderson, Florian and another guy. The hill did bad things to people and I was dropped after two. I clipped a pedal on the corner befor the chicane. Barnes was looming ahead all race long, I'd gain on the hill, and he'd gain on the down hill, but the gain I made on the hill was bigger than his gains. After countless laps of chasing I finally caught him on the hill. He attacked and dropped me. I experienced agony on that hill but the training at Kensington paid off. In the end it was Florian taking the the win.
Dad lined up with three teammates. By the end, he was the only one there. Tony was worn out by the Junior race and skittish of corners, Birmann (according to dad) is overtraining, and Steven missed a year of racing. As everyone had predicted, Mcbride went on the hill with Carlson and the stayed away. Dad tried to bridge up but it didn't work. Mcbride crashed and Dad and a rider from Team Giant broke away. So it was Bart Carlson taking the solo victory and Dad getting third. The 1/2 race was ugly. Well I'm looking forward to Tour De Ciocarro.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
2. Cody Brown (Wolverine Sports Club). Cody did two races this year and won them both. Trust me Cody, your better off in with the threes, Cat 4 has been sketchy as all get out, but still Cat 3 is sketchy too. You have a strong team in the threes and there you can develop until you're ready to make the the jump to Cat 2.
3. Chad Everts (Weg & Berg Velo Inc.). He's been sandbagging in the fours since the beginning of last year. With three wins under his belt, he needs to give him self a bit tougher competition.
4. All the fours that are doing well. I'm not saying right now you need to upgrade, but at least by next season, if you want to. In fact, I don't want the guys on my team to upgrade (Eric H, Dmo, Zack, Scott G, Dan S) because I want them to totally dominate the Category Four field.
5. 15-18 Juniors who want to race Nationals. You've got to be Cat 3 to participate at Nationals (15-18) because they want it to be an elite field.
Remember, don't feel obligated to upgrade just because you have too. It'll be perfectly fine if you sandbag for the rest of your career[-:)].
Monday, August 20, 2007
Saturday, August 18, 2007
On his blog, my father claimed that "Coach Young decided to do some hill repeats". The truth of the matter is that Dad was talking about it on the way there and convinced Coach Young. But maybe I heard wrong.
So we did hill repeats, and that's all I need to say to describe it. It was going up the hill at the end of the Tour of Kensington Prologue course, as you sprint to the line. Two sets of going up spinning at way over 100 RPM, then going up at regular style, then mashing out a hard hard gear. So in all I did that stupid hill six times, and it was bittersweet while I finished; I was happy to have finished riding that hill, and I wrathfully wanted to pluck it from the ground and drop it into the sea. I need to train for hills though, because Rockford will have an insane hill. We really worked on my pedaling style (up hills) and it improved. We did two short sprints after we had fully recovered from doing a full on effort up the hill leading you up to the start line (which is one of the toughest climbs on the course) then down the other monstrous hill and flat for a while and then up the hill that slowly rises up for a long time, and takes longer than you think.
After the ride had Officially ended my dad and I went up to Island Lake and came back with a total of forty miles on the day.
I've been watching the Detroit Lions this evening and they are running away with a twenty three point lead. They look good, not great (but they are playing the Browns). I'm not going to be disapointed if they have another losing year this year. They seemed to have improved by adding some depth to their wide receiver core. Time will tell. But I will keep on watching, I will keep on hoping, I will keep on believing, and I will keep on knowing, that their time will come too, and I want to be there when they dominate the football scene one day, in the far far future.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
I went for a short easy ride in my neighborhood. Today I've been feeling all congested and bad, so I wasn't quite sure if riding was a good idea. Well, I'm still alive.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
And the next race I think I was dropped.
And then we went home. And then I went to sleep. And then I woke up. And then I ate breakfast. And then I started blogging.
Kudos to Mom, because she drove me to crit practice.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Sunday, August 12, 2007
I was fully decked out with the TT bars and helmet, booties and a wheel cover! Alexey had his Rocket helmet and was looking ready.
The first five starting were Whitney, my wonderful self, Sam "Sonic" Sonnega, Alexey "Sparkplug" Vermeulen and Tony "Fast" Wieczorek. Sam's main sport this year is baseball so wasn't on his best form. It's still good he showed up.
The main battle of the day was going to be between Dan "Good Rittance" Ritter and Chris "The Bringer-Man" Brinkman. The reason Chris gets that nickname is because he's a man who brings other men to suffering. Hence the nickname "The Bringer-Man", no mocking intended.
I started fast, and it took quite a time for me to catch Whitney. She made a big improvement from her last 20k.
I was doing great, averaging 23-25, never dropping below 22. At the halfway point, I was a little over a 23 M.P.H.* average.
Tony was flying and was the first guy to finish. The finish came up really suddenly but I made sure I went as hard as I could. I went through at 25-ish and finished. I looked at my time.
I was ecstatic.
Alexey clocked in at 32:06, and won.
But Dan was on a tear. He beat Chris (who might of been suffering from BTR) by one minute and a half.
I loaned Zack my helmet in turn for his Atmos; and it was sweet. He stopped the clock at 28:32, way better than he expected. That gave him fourth, eight seconds behind John Burrows and 54 seconds behind first place David Morrissey.
Now for the TTT.
First of all, I was treated to my first real massage (by Mr. Vermeulen), and it tickled.
Alexey and I started after Zack/David and before Dad/John B. We started out really well, averaging a steady 24/25. We've rode together so often that we have gotten good at communicating with each other. We both felt great and I couldn't believe how good we were doing. We executed the long anticipated turn around without piling up. Then we found out why we had been going fast. And we also found out why we were going to go slow. When you have a great tailwind in one direction, when you turn around you get a great headwind, which also translates to a HORRIBLE headwind. Folks, there was one part where we were doing 18. We fought our way back, but couldn't keep up the speed that we needed. We finished at 32:26, okay considering the terrible wind. Dan and Whitney did a surprisingly good time of 30-ish. The whole race was fun and I can only credit it to fresh God-given legs, and a great cheering section, including Aunt Caroline. That gives my a goal for next year: under 30 minutes.
We headed over to Grandma and Grandpa's house and hours later returned. And then I started blogging.
*Miles Per Hour
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
It's very noble of them to support Junior Cycling, as this year hasn't yielded a large junior field.
Last year was at the Palace of Auburn Hills but they've moved it to an industrial park. I like crits in industrial parks.
A good thing to see is that Sam Sonnega is doing it. He was one of our main guys last year but hasn't showed up at all this year. The problem is that he is fifteen and is doing the 13/14 category. But I just realized that on Active.com they tell you to give your "Racing Age (age on August 12). That is the silliest thing since they invented Spongebob.
What they want is your actual age, which is not always the age you're competing in. Wow, they're only increasing the risk that all juniors go through, of confusing "Racing Age" with "Actual Age". I'm not insulting anyone, they just didn't know.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Also the Junior race is longer than the Cat 4 men's race. The course is 1.1 miles and fairly flat with only one main corner. For the junior race the payout is 150$ for the top four. So far Alexey looks set for some money. Mac Brennan, another guy from Abitibi probably will take the win unless if Birmann shows up. Birmann hails from Kalamazoo, as does Rudy Peterson.
It should be an interesting race.
After it ended we had another RIVETTING chat with Doug. He had some MP3 player trouble but was still as lively as ever.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
Number 6: "Big Ray" Dybowski is putting the hurt on everyone, and is paying a price. Dad also seems to be squealing in agony. Mark Cahn remains unresponsive.
Number 5: The trademark Sufferface of Mark Bailey. When he's going, you can tell by the silent roar he is delivering. Sufferface or not, Mark Bailey is feared.
Number 4: A priority health guy sufferin' in the TOKV prologue.
Number 3: John Rigdon, screaming in searing agony, cursing the world and the TOKV course.
Number 2: A Lathrup dude sufferin' in the prologue, this prologue hurt people.
Number 1: One of the greatest sufferfaces of 07, and I would rather not have a caption for it.
Remember, I am not mocking these people, I am honoring them, for to be on the Ultimate Suffering list is a priviledge (in my point of view).
Pictures by Josh Freeling and Doug "The Cat" Gatto aka "Pothole" aka "The Grandmaster B". Bike Boy reserves the right to call Doug Gatto numerous random nicknames. All lawsuits will be ignored. Violating the authority of Bike Boy is punishable under federal law. I really really like pizza.
I just can't say enough about pizza.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
We made a last hour desiscion to head to Ada the day before and went up to Grand Rapids (the day before). The big news is that I did my first Cat 4 race. Alexey had been pre-registered for it all week, but my dad wasn't as sure. I expected it to start off insanely fast and then slow. The first lap started. You'd corner, go down a sort of downhill, turn left (again), and make your way onto a long flat stretch. After that you'd make an "S" turn up onto a short uphill/elevation and turn left onto the finishing straight. Every time there would be a gap that opened up on the second corner, and I'd have to sprint but I never had to sprint that hard because they'd slowed on the flat stretch. The hill surprisingly didn't give me much trouble. I think in the beginning Alexey was having more trouble than I. After 20 of the 30 minutes were elapsed, I felt good. The pace was not nearly as hard as Crit Practice.
But after a while it was getting harder to sprint back on. After about 28 minutes of racing I couldn't hold the pace any more. Alexey, who was trying to bridge up to Mr. Wieczorek, who was trying bridge back up to the peleton, [Alexey] went by me and gapped me. Another dropped rider caught up with me and I started pulling back on Alexey, who had a good gap on me. I came back into contact with him when it was about five laps to go. Mr. Vermeulen said that at that point the field was going to lap us. We were doing our team time trial. But with two to go we heard the beeping of the pace car behind us. In desperation I floored it and Alexey said we were pushing 28-ish. The car came around us but not the pack. We held them off. We were past the finish line when the field sprint finished, led by Cody Brown. The guy who got second was silly and try to pass by us (after he finished) between Alexey and the shoulder. And with an expletive, he crashed. We finsihed the last lap in style, not racing. But I was dumb enough to let Alexey finish ahead of me. He was 31st and I was 32nd out of 42 starters, not bad. The head official said he didn't want to pull us but still we weren't lapped. I think we could call it a victory. At rollout the official doing it was confused. He pretty much thought that it had to make it exactly, but it didn't need to.
The next race, masters 35+, Rob Iser rode a brilliant race, attacking to win a prime and holding that break all the way to the end where he outsprinted the guy that bridged up to him. Rob Iser has enjoyed one of his best seasons ever, mostly due to his tactics and intelligence. This race was more brute strenghth.
And in the 45+ race my Dad was on a tear. About 3/4s into the race he formed a break with Ray Dybowski and Mark Cahn. I knew they were the strongest guys but I also knew that Terry Bandstra had a teammate ready to chase. The break stayed and Dad beat "Big Ray" by eight inches! And then the Junior race, I did rollout again. It was a relatively large field.
Poor Rem had to be disappointed, he forgot to put his bib number on until he was lined up at the start line and only got half of it pinned on. And the officials kept saying he was a Junior woman. And the race was all big kids. Right from the gun Mcbride and Florian took off with Brinkman. A chase group was formed consisting of Me, Alexey, Noah, two Kalamazoo Bike Club dudes, Dan "Good Rittance" Ritter, Mark Bailey, James Bird, Tanner Zych and Andre Dompierre. Ludlow came but was dropped early on. James Bird was the biggest threat in my point of view. He did the Tour del 'Avenir for Team Borah and placed well. But there was no chance of catching the elite three man break ahead of us. James B unleashed a nasty attack but was followed by Mark Bailey and the rest. Bailey seemed really strong and capable. The pace slowed. I attacked. It was a good attack and no one seemed willing to chase me. Bailey bridged up, and I sat up because the group was only a bike length behind.
Noah crashed. I don't think anyone else caused it, but his bike shot to the right and he smacked down on his left side. He finished the race fortunately.
I went to the front and pulled. According to Alexey I dropped a few people. Alexey pulled and the group seemed to be settling down. Our pace seemed to be going fast enough that no one wanted to attack. I pulled again on the flat stretch and Alex (who was spectating) advised me to sit up. We did and surprisingly I still felt good. I was not getting dropped. Onto the finishing straight for the last time, one of the KBC started his sprint early and I sprinted by him. There wasn't much of a chance beating anyone else besides Alexey in the sprint. And Alexey beat me in the sprint. Like I predicted, James B took the sprint ahead of another KCB guy. But it was Brinkman winning the race over Mcbride. For some reason Dan "Good Rittance" Ritter was DQed. The only question is, why? In the Cat 3, all the Juniors that did the race before were blown out. Mcbride got into a good break with Nate Williams and the duo got a HUGE lead. Then Nate cracked him. Back with the main field, a boneheaded move by some guy caused another crash, and the casualties were Tony and Chris. Great (sarcasm).
Thus concludes Ada Criterium 2007, a milestone day.
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
Anyway, the Hockey season is over for Sparkplug so he was able to get to Crit Practice easily. Mr. Wieczorek also showed. Everyone lined up, thirty minutes late. The first race was five laps. Alexey and I were up at the front and I was holding Dad's wheel. Well after he finished his interval he pulled off and let me pull. Great, just great. I pulled for a while, but then this thing happened; I was dropped. That pull just blew me up, but Sparkplug stayed with them the whole time.
The next one, Sparkplug and I went for it. We got caught after a lap, but we attacked once the race started, not before. The Grandmaster B claimed that he and Dad were with us, but I don't remember that. So after we were dropped we were trying to pass a master, I got stuck in between him and the curb, and Sparkplug got a big gap. After a lap I bridged up to him but it wasted my sprint and he beat me by almost a bike length. The next one though, I took it to Sparkplug. I never saw him and I stayed on 'til about a lap to go. The next one was a copy of the one before, this time getting dropped with two to go. The next one we were both dropped and went side by side in the sprint. Then Sparkplug dropped his chain.
The Grandmaster B also claimed I had a bad day. I personally didn't think I had a bad day. And also, if I'm gonna be an Evil Street Rapper, why can't I be called JD or Jay-D? I don't seriously get into the whole Hip-Hop/Gangster thing, but sometimes, if it sounds good.
Well back to bike racing. I am SICK of Heed (a drink we drink to make us ride faster). It makes my mouth so pizza darn sticky. It was stellar to have a nice drink of pure water.